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Matrim
01-31-2010, 01:03 PM
So, here we go!
My first WIP/map thread on the board.
I created this map using Gidde's GIMP version of Ascension's Atlas style tut, after having seen Arsheesh's map, which turned out very nice. That, and i need the practice, being a GIMP newbie.
I have yet to put in any names, towns and borders, and i'm thinking about changing the ocean style to something more similar to Tear's Saderan tut, using photoshop.

Not sure about the rivers either by the way. Maybe a bit too squiggly.
And now that I think about it, it's missing forests as well.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter =)

Edit: working title added

arsheesh
01-31-2010, 01:24 PM
Hey that's looking great so far!. The detail in the mountains turned out better on your map then they did in mine. I kinda like the squiggly rivers myself. Course if you're not satisfied with them, there are a few scripts and plug-ins for GIMP that RobA and others have made floating around the site somewhere that are particularly helpful for rivers (do a search for: "stroke path with taper," "Tapered straight path," "Fractalize Path," and "Smooth Path" if your interested). Yeah forests are sort of a must, but there's always plenty of time for that later. Your off to a good start though.

Cheers,

-Arsheesh

Ascension
01-31-2010, 02:15 PM
If you're using Photoshop then you can always just use my original tutorial but the only the only thing that I see is that the big river in the middle splits...river's don't split and stay split, they join except in deltas. All of the other rivers are fine. Pretty good so far, though.

Matrim
01-31-2010, 06:47 PM
First update!
Thanks for the comments guys =)
I had a look at some other rivers (real and made here), and turns out squiggly isn't too bad. I did undo the river split, made a new river somewhat parallel to the original river. Not much left of it now though, since i also added forests, which almost completely covered it up. Maybe if you squint you can spot some curves poking out between the trees ;)
Also redid the ocean, but i still want to finish it off by putting Ascension's ocean tile on the surface to get that cool wavey effect.
And finally, I think I somehow messed up the snowpeaks layer, so i put some in manually

The things I'm not so sure of are the shrubs scattered between the forests, and the grey 'dead' forest in the top left corner...
Let's hear that criticism!

Ascension
01-31-2010, 06:56 PM
The forests are weird with the big black thing in them but this is pretty killer lookin. If you have your rivers on their own layer then use them as a mask or selection and then erase in the forests to let the river show through some more. I like to let my rivers peek out from between the trees just a little but not all the way. Very nice work, though.

Rongar
01-31-2010, 07:05 PM
That looks pretty damn good! :)

Makes me seriously want to give that tutorial a whirl too, even though I'm actually not the biggest fan of sat-style maps around here. You may take that as a compliment. ;)

The rivers could be slightly more noticeable though, but that's probably just me.

Diamond
01-31-2010, 07:40 PM
Man, that is looking seriously nice. The only thing that looks funky to me is that odd mottling effect between the forests in the west.

Matrim
02-01-2010, 10:27 AM
Okay, another update:

- darkened some forests, lightened others, and gave the river a chance to see the daylight (Thanks Ascension! Still tinkering with the darkness of the forests, they're still not exactly the way I want them, but I'm not sure how to improve them now.)
- tried to remove some of the blotting in the landscape (Thanks Diamond!)
- placed Ascension's tile on the sea, for some added realism, and made the sea bottom a little more pronounced because I almost lost the huge unnatural underwater mountain, hehe.
- darkened the rivers and placed a subtle outer bevel on them (Thanks Rongar, and be sure to try the tut! Even if it's just for some new techniques ;) )
- tried my hand at a few beaches on the coast, didn't turn out the way I wanted, but meh, good enough I suppose.
- gave the map a working title.

I think I'm ready for cities, towns, roads etc for the next update, but don't hesitate to give some tips for further improvement of what I've got now :)

Diamond
02-01-2010, 02:24 PM
That looks sweet. Rivers are much easier to see now.

Steel General
02-01-2010, 02:25 PM
This is progressing quite nicely, good job so far.

arsheesh
02-01-2010, 02:31 PM
Boy this map just keeps getting better! I like what you've done with the sea, there's a real feeling of depth there. One suggestion with the forests. If you created these using the method described in Gidde's tutorial, than you can add some depth and texture to the forests by adding a "hill bumps" (or "forests" bumps in this case) layer as mentioned in step 28 of the tut. I also found that adding multiple layers of different color (step 27) helped my forests to stand out. In your case the forest look a bit dark. You might try adding a couple lighter shades of green. Other than that the map is looking mighty fine.

Cheers,

-ARsheesh.

Matrim
02-01-2010, 06:54 PM
Ah, the horror of coming up with all the names! I used to be so good at that, sigh.
On the bright side though, I discovered that I can group layers, and even subgroup! Made all this much easier, since now I don't have tons of text-layers flying about :D

Thanks for the comments, once again. Arsheesh, I'll give that a try tomorrow!

Right, so what I've been doing the last couple of hours is adding city locations, roads and names for pretty much anything. Here's the result


Sidenote:
Ulria, Falan and the city of Waterwatch are part of the Ginsion kingdom.
The Northern Bleak is home to countless of warrior tribes.
The Kingdom of Tir Jalla is a sophisticated culture, but remains mostly a mystery to the inhabitants of Ginsion. A strained alliance exists after Ginsion successfully defeated the Tir Jallesian army in order to get a foothold on the barren peninsula (followed by the founding of Waterwatch).
The Free Isles are home to the scum of the earth, since they have nowhere else to go, apart from the Deadman's Plains, but those are rumoured to be cursed.
The Harhashhi Desert is home to a people even more obscure and mysterious than the Tir Jallese.

Ascension
02-01-2010, 08:01 PM
With different fonts I could say that I made it, but instead I'll say very good job.

Matrim
02-02-2010, 09:25 AM
Oh sh... I lost ALL the layer styles when going back and forth from PS to GIMP. Rule #1: SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! yeah..

Well. Lots of work that now needs to be redone. Maybe I can salvage something from the jpegs..
Oh the bright side, the forests look a lot better :p

And Ascension, that's a very big compliment indeed! Thank you! :)

Rongar
02-02-2010, 10:42 AM
Oh, what a bummer! Don't loose heart though and, yeah, always backup your file. ;)

[Edit] You don't have the .xcf file from GIMP anymore?

Matrim
02-02-2010, 11:33 AM
I opened the .pdf in GIMP and then saved it. Turns out not only the layer styles were gone, the masks were distorted on a few layers as well.
But, after forcing myself to get over it and just go ahead and see if it can be fixed, I got it back to the way it was, somewhat.
Now I'm finally back to naming roads, rivers, cities and towns..

Here's a snapshot of the new woods, all thanks to Arsheesh. You da man!

Rongar
02-02-2010, 01:57 PM
Wow, that looks excellent. How did you do them (the forests)?

arsheesh
02-02-2010, 03:00 PM
Tragic tale my friend. Good on ya for sticking it out though. And those forests, yeah, I think I like them better than the ones I did. Fantastic work so far.

Cheers,

-Arshessh

Matrim
02-02-2010, 04:18 PM
Just about ready to move this to the finished maps. First I'll hold off to see if any more tips fly this way =)
I am dissatisfied with some areas on the map (The blurry edge on the Southern Green Hills, bottom left, for example), but I'm leaving for a quick little visit to my brother in London tomorrow, and when I get back college starts again, so I won't have too much time to work on it and I want to get this posted.

Ascension: I would have changed the font, since I realise some names are barely legible, but GIMP rasterised all my text, and I honestly couldn't be bothered to redo them all. I'll keep the advice in mind, however!

Rongar:
I'm not entirely sure, but I think this is how it went:
I followed Gidde's translation of Ascension's Atlas tutorial for GIMP (here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4084-[Award-Winner]-My-atlas-style-in-PS/page15)), then redid step 28 (as Arsheesh mentioned before). I used the hills layers as forest layers. (Copied this from Arsheesh as well, apologies ;))
I'm not entirely sure how I did the rest, but I think I didn't apply the mask, as it says in the tutorial.
Then I switched to Photoshop.
For the scattered bits of forest I used a spatter brush, I think size 27, and set the scattering to 1000% and in shape dynamics set the size jitter to 50%.
Paint white in the mask. It's ok if you brush over the ocean/sea, but be careful not to brush over mountains too much, since you'll have to remove that afterwards.
Select->load selection->coastline->invert->fill with black. This removes the bits of scattered forest covering the ocean.
Paint black with a soft round brush on low opacity to carefully remove the forest from parts where you don't want it to be (like said mountains).
Set the mode to multiply and fiddle around with the opacity to see what you like best. You might need to soften up the background by painting white at 7% opacity in the Land-layer (NOT the mask, in the basic layer).
Give the second HillBumps (or Forestbumps..) layer a small drop shadow (I used distance 2px and size 1px)

For as far as I can remember, that is how I did it. Don't pin me down on it however, because I fiddled around a LOT to get these right, and my memory is terrible. My forest layer is above the snowcaps layer in my map, and I don't know how it climbed up there. I have hills layers where they should be (below the mountains layers), so.. hmm. Sorry if this didn't help :(


Now, back to the WIP, here it is. I went for a simple black border, and I don't think I have time for a legend or some majestic title in the map itself, so you'll have to do without, hehe

Diamond
02-02-2010, 04:47 PM
I LOVE the way those forests turned out. I'm going to have to experiment with that myself...

moutarde
02-02-2010, 04:49 PM
Looks fantastic! Well done, and congratulations on finishing it :)

arsheesh
02-02-2010, 05:26 PM
Orignially posted by Matrim,
I followed Gidde's translation of Ascension's Atlas tutorial for GIMP (here), then redid step 28 (as Arsheesh mentioned before). I used the hills layers as forest layers. (Copied this from Arsheesh as well, apologies )

Hey apologies are not in the least bit in order here. I'm just glad that someone else was able to make use of (and indeed innovate) that forest-bumps trick. I myself got the idea after going through Gidde's tutorial, and he in turn based the tutorial off of Ascension, and... You see, we are all indebted to someone for what we learn, but that's just the beauty of a Guild like this one: we are engaged in cooperative project of sharing trade secrets! Anyway your map turned out amazing, even without the finishing touches. Post it in the finished maps section and I'll praise it there too.

Cheers,

-Arsheesh

Rongar
02-05-2010, 12:49 AM
Matrim, thanks for taking the time to write down the description of your method, but I'm afraid I won't be able to reproduce it since I do not own Photoshop.
It will still be helpful for those who do though, I'm sure. I'll try to rep ya, but if it won't let me, just imagine a *thumps up* coming your way. :D